Fractured verdict in Meghalaya, Cong emerges single largest party

Updated on Mar 01, 2003 10:25 PM IST

With a fractured verdict in Meghalaya, the Congress on Saturday secured 22 seats in the 60-member house, five more than it had in the outgoing Assembly.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Shillong

With a fractured verdict in Meghalaya, the Congress on Saturday secured 22 seats in the 60-member house, five more than it had in the outgoing Assembly.

The party had also regretted entering the F A Khonglam's Meghalaya Peoples Forum (MPF) coalition ministry during campaigning.

Some of the coalition partners of the MPF also could not match their performance this time around, which would give a fillip to the bargaining powers of the Congress.

The NCP, which had 15 legislators, won a seat less this time, while the United Democratic Party's strength in the House came down to nine from 13.

The Meghalaya Democratic Party's strength likewise dwindled to nine from seven in the outgoing House.

The Hills State Peoples Democratic Party's position remained the same with two seats.

The opposition BJP, which had three seats, secured one less this time, while Independents got five seats. The Garo National Council, which had a lone member in the house, drew a blank this time.

Regional outfit Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement, political wing of Khasi Students Union floated five months ago, bagged the Jaiaw seat humbling former finance minister A H Scott-Lyndoh.

Chief minister Dr Flinder Anderson Khonglam, who contested on an HSPDP ticket retained his Sohra seat defeating his nearest rival Phlour W Khongjee (UDP) by a margin of 557. Besides Khonglam, five other ministers of his cabinet also won.

Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee has indicated that D D Lapang, Khonglam's deputy would be the main contender for chief ministership. The CLP meeting will be held tomorrow to elect its leader.

The Congress cashed in on friendly contests to defeat Veterinary minister Rain Agustine Lyndoh (UDP) in Sohiong and Soil Conservation minister Sambur Swell Lyndon (MDP) in Sohryngkhkam constituency.

The Congress state president and former chief minister Salseng C Marak, however, lost to MCP at Resubelpara in another friendly contest.

Former chief minister and UDP president E K Mawlong too lost to Congress in Umroi in a friendly contest.

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